Few companies understand how to apply data to a business strategy. Here’s what data can do for your strategy — and how to use it.
Consumers want personalization. Whether it relates to products and services, messaging, or experiences, there's a healthy appetite for personalization and “customization.” It didn’t take long for companies to respond to this trend by gathering mountains of consumer information to take a more data-driven approach to business.
Despite these efforts, one problem remains: Few companies understand how to apply data to a business strategy. A recent survey suggests that 77% of executives feel their business has struggled to adopt data initiatives; another 93% of executives cited people and processes as a source of their data challenges.
Businesses struggle to not only aggregate data from disparate sources but also to ensure its quality and integrity. A platform like Pearl’s Customer Data Platform, or CDP, makes this possible by using technology to cleanse, enrich, and organize information.
Businesses can use machine learning and artificial intelligence to extract both insights and predicted outcomes to make more informed decisions regarding business strategy.
Building a Data Business Strategy
By focusing on all types of consumer data, Pearl helps organizations personalize their marketing by making it more relevant to target audiences. Greater personalization improves the customer experience, which bolsters brand loyalty, lead nurturing efforts, and conversion rates.
Picture data as a boulder rolling down a hill. It continues to gain speed as it rolls — assuming you gave it a good push and applied the correct data to your business strategy. More often than not, it begins with basic types of consumer data such as general demographics, employment, education, etc.
From there, you can begin to incorporate transactional data points like product categories, price, order value, purchase frequency, and shared attributes. Combine this information with social affinities (e.g., interests, attitudes, aspirations, etc.) and financial data (e.g., income, debt levels, active credit lines, net worth, etc.), and you can begin to visualize and “humanize” your segmented or targeted audiences.
By getting to know the people behind the data points, you are then able to speak to these target audiences in authentic ways. When those connections happen, your messaging begins to resonate at a higher level.
Getting Real With Data
Though building a data business strategy is sometimes easier said than done, there are ways to make the process more actionable. Get started with these three steps:
1. Define your data goals.
Regardless of size, every business needs some level of data analytics to be successful. Before that can begin to use any information to gather actionable insights, you must decide what you want to learn from data analytics.
For starters, your goals should always inform your data business strategy. Are you looking to target a new market, for example? Do you want to gain knowledge about industry trends? Once you’ve defined your goals, you can separate the wheat from the chaff within the data.
2. Turn insights into action.
Half the battle of taking action on insights is in the presentation. You can’t make sense of complex datasets until they’re pulled together in a logical, actionable way. It’s only then that it becomes easier to visualize the next steps and figure out how analytics can inform your business strategy. Consider investing in an integrated system that can connect different data sources and aggregate the information into easy-to-access, understandable analytics.
3. Build a campaign.
Using these new insights, build a campaign designed to resonate with your existing customer base. You want to strengthen brand loyalty and keep people coming back for more. Do the same for new customers by crafting personalized messaging that taps into what appeals to them about your product or service.
Also, don’t rely on just one channel. Take an omnichannel approach by broadcasting your message across all mediums frequented by your target audience. Brands that message across three or more channels tend to enjoy 90% higher retention rates than companies that stick to one channel.
Insights gleaned from data are only useful when the people tasked with execution understand how everything ties back to your data business strategy. Keep team members informed regarding your business direction, share how data can make their jobs more manageable, and always remember the human side of your business — particularly your customers. Stay on this path, and you won’t go wrong.
To learn more about the ins and outs of building a rock-solid data business strategy, visit our resources page.